Something is on the loose in Steaming Forest. It screeches, it scares and it kills. Where the mud boils, where the steam rises, where the giant Manglewarp Tree grows, no one is brave enough to enter the forest. In the nearby village of Pebbleknock, Sergeant Trod Elsewhere is also faced with an outbreak of thievery, mysterious magical gatherings and bothersome anarchists. Only one person realises these events might be linked, and unless he can work the connection out, things are about to take a turn for the worse.